Pyramid Solitaire

Pyramid Solitaire is a fun and engaging one-deck solitaire game.

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Pyramid solitaire is a game that requires a combination of logic, strategy, and luck. Although not much is known about its source, it’s believed to have been created in France. Similar to its name, this game features a pyramid tableau instead of a straight line tableau. It involves pairing of cards such that their values add up to 13, regardless of the suit. The game rules are easy and simple to follow.

Game Rules

Pyramid Solitaire is played with a single pack of 52 cards. 28 of these cards are arranged in a pyramid that contains seven rows. Initially, only the cards at the bottom row of the pyramid are playable. These cards must be removed first to make the cards in the upper rows available. The remaining 24 cards form the stock. Next to the stock is a waste pile which is initially empty. Clicking a card on the stock moves it to the waste pile and cards from the waste pile can be matched with the ones in the pyramid. The last part is the foundation where pair of cards totaling to 13 points is moved.

To play the game, the player removes cards by selecting two cards that their points add up to 13. Kings are worth 13 points; Queens are worth 12, jacks 11, Ace counts as one while the number cards are as their face value. This means the player can combine Ace-Queen, Two-Jack, Three- Ten, Four-Nine, Five- Eight and Six-Seven. The King is removed as a single card. Getting the 13 points can be done through:

  • Moving a pyramid card onto another pyramid card as long as they are not covered by other cards;
  • Clicking on the King to move it to the foundation;
  • Moving a pyramid card onto the pyramid card that it's covering as long as they add up to 13;
  • Moving the card on top of the waste pile to a pyramid card that is accessible. If no match is made, the player can add a new card on the waste pile by clicking on facedown card on top of the stock.

Once all the cards on the stock pile have been flipped onto the waste pile, the player can click on a reset button found on the empty stock to move all the cards from the waste back to the stock. The game is won if all cards from the pile, pyramid, and waste pile are transferred to the foundation. If the stock is exhausted and there are no more cards that can be paired, the game ends.

The game has many variations. In some cases, the pyramid may be made of 6 columns; some have stock facing up while others can be won with cards still present in the stock as long as the pyramid is cleared.

Tips & Tricks

Although Pyramid solitaire involves some element of luck, here are certain tips that can increase the probability of winning.

  • Remove Kings immediately they appear since the King needs no match; thus it’s a good opportunity to make another card accessible.
  • Plan each move to enable expose cards. Do not rush to remove a card and remove a combination. Instead, you can move through the stock to see which cards are remaining that would bring better combinations.
  • Remove cards evenly on both sides of the pyramid to avoid having a single line of piled up line of cards.
  • Match cards in the middle of the pyramid first. Middle cards overlap two cards hence when first removed make more cards available than the one at the edge.
  • Keenly evaluate the cards on the tableau to identify any potential block. Difficulties can occur when all cards that can be matched by a card occur in the triangle below it or if all cards that can be combined appear in a triangle above it.